Earth Hour 2009: Watt’s the use?

As I begin typing here at my well lit desk in the middle of “Earth Hour 2009”, I felt compelled to comment on this non-event. Looking at the Earth Hour web site, you’ll find a bunch of participants with pictures of themselves on Flickr holding candles. I’m really thrilled they feel better about themselves. I’m not posting to rip on the entire green movement….it’s the phonies I have issues with.

I have friends on both sides of the political aisle who call themselves green. Fortunately they don’t ram it down anyone’s throat. Even though I’m not the greenest person around, they have my utmost respect. Why? Because they walk the walk. A couple of friends went solar  in their Tulsa home. Yeah, I’ve got a few CFL’s in my house, but I also have my share of the time tested incandescent bulbs. I’m a little old school when it comes to my light bulbs. But as I mentioned, I’ll run a few CFLs to push down my light bill a bit. So my purpose in using a CFL is strictly for monetary reasons.  Just something about the warm glow of an incandescent bulb that a CFL can’t compare. Plus, it’s a part of historical technology that I’ll do what I can to keep from disappearing.

But, back to Earth Hour. I’ve got a bit of a problem with this whole concept. It appears to be a whole lot of symbolism and very little substance. I saw a sign tonight at an eastside coffee bar touting Earth Day and to come in & celebrate at 8:30. I can only guess they shut down the lights & had candles burning. And I imagine they, like just about every other participant of this “glowious” event blew out the candles and flipped the light switch to the on position at 9:30:01 pm.  I’d love to ask some of these people that if it’s soooo right to flip your light switch off and live by a candle, then why not do it 24/7/365? What, not practical? Hmmm??? Then what was the point of your little vigil tonight? Was it just to tell yourself “I care”? Feeling a little trendy, are we? Yup, that’ll get it done.  Talk to me when you throw enough solar panels on your roof to make your light meter run in reverse or start repurposing and recycling in a meaningful manner. Otherwise, don’t throw your shoulder out patting yourself on the back.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Earth Hour 2009: Watt’s the use?

  1. Yippee! A new blog entry! It’s about time. (But now I have to scroll down a bit to do my daily reading about the Speedway Motel being torn down – LOL!) As for lightbulbs, I really like the CFLs and the light they shed. I replaced as many incandescents as I could, but in a few cases the configuration of my lamps made it impossible. My power was out from 4:30 to 6:00 this morning. I’d like to think that the city turned it out for Earth Hour, but I suspect it just had something to do with yesterday’s snowstorm. 🙂

  2. Pat

    Since I haven’t updated the Speedway Motel post, yes, the motel is still torn down. 😉

    Have you seen the new LED lights that are out? They look like an incandescent, but inside they have a series of LEDs. I think Mal*Wart is carrying them. I believe a 40 watt equivilent uses 1.5 watts. I thought of getting one just to see how well it put out light, but it was a bit pricey for a bulb…$11 or so, as I recall.

  3. Each Friday night, our family turns off the lights and turns on oil lamps and candles and enjoy the evening talking together in the living room. It’s amazing how few distractions there are when the electric lights are out.

  4. Trevor Hilton

    Turning off ones lights for an hour does nothing. It was nothing but symbolism.
    Those LED lights DO sound intriguing. Unlike flourescents, they ususally put out good light, and don’t pollute anything when they break.

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